Twitter Transcripts from Thanksgiving

After losing tons of audio posts when using a third party podcasting system a few years ago I have become very gunshy about keeping anything really important on any system other than one that I own myself.  Since my Twitter feed has become so critical (I am still thinking about moving that to a system that I host myself rather than using Twitter) I decided that it would make sense to copy over the transcripts from Dominica’s labor process this week so that we would always have them.  The blog itself is interesting but seeing the “as it happens” transcripts will be really neat for Liesl someday to see what we were saying just hours before she was born.

This transcript starts with dad leaving Peekskill after having been on “baby watch” for over a week on November 26 at 11:00am.  It ends in the early afternoon today, the 28th.

Liesl is having her third feeding with Dominica right now. She is doing very well. about 6 hours ago from web

Preliminary results from the blood work and spinal tap show Liesl as being clear. 48 hours until the final results but good for now. about 8 hours ago from web

Liesl has been cleared to “feed on demand” which is very positive. about 10 hours ago from web

Dominica just finished her first meal since the operation. Still on fluids but feeling a little better. Still four nights without sleep! about 10 hours ago from web

Annie says, “It’s like candy for your bowels that help you fart.” I just had to relay that quote! about 11 hours ago from web

Dominica is eating her first meal since surgery. She is recovering well, but is quite sad about Liesl having to be tested already. about 11 hours ago from web

Liesl has symptoms of infection. Bloodwork wasn’t great. She has to have a spinal tap now to see if she has an infection in her brain. about 11 hours ago from TwitterBerry

Back at the hospital. Dominica is doing well. Waiting for our doctor appointment. about 13 hours ago from TwitterBerry

Dominica sent me home to sleep. Have to be back early in the morning. Oreo was so excited to see me! about 21 hours ago from TwitterBerry

@kweenkmatt thanks. You will have to come visit soon! about 23 hours ago from TwitterBerry in reply to kweenkmatt

Dominica and Liesl are hanging out at the hospital recovering. Min’s parents and I are at new city diner getting food. about 23 hours ago from TwitterBerry

Liesl’s birthday: november 27th, 2008 at 6:54pm 7:39 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

It’s a girl!! Announcing Liesl Lee Miller. 7lbs 11oz. 20inches 7:28 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

It is surgery time. 6:30 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

If all goes well in surgery, dominica can come home on sunday. 5:59 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Progression failed. Going to c section now. Baby is fine. Phone is about to die.   5:55 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Dominica has now been in labor for 26 hours. 5:29 PM Nov 27th from web

FB-IMing with Clare in London. Live chat and blogging from the delivery room! LOL 5:29 PM Nov 27th from web

I’ve moved from my BlackBerry to Twittering from my laptop set up in the birthing room at the foot of Dominica’s bed. 5:25 PM Nov 27th from web

Dominica is napping now. In theory she will sleep for another hour to an hour and a half and then we should see something get going. 5:23 PM Nov 27th from web

Epidural is working. Dominica is feeling so much better. 4:24 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Pitosin is working but the pain is incredible. Epidural happening now. 4:05 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Dominica is on iv drip pain killers now. Doesmnt stop the pain but she is starting to relax between contractions. 3:00 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Dominica is starting pitocin now. We are having problems progressing. C section is a very real possibility very soon. 2:20 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Midwife and nurses are prepping for delivery. Might be very soon. 1:03 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Lunch is free today at the hosp. Having a lite thanksgiving dinner here. 12:10 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

There was meconium present so the head monitor (that corkscrews into the scalp) has to be attached. 11:50 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Water just broke. 7-8 cm. Real progress now! 11:30 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Tried to get food but the hospital caf has nothing. Literally nothing. I guess that they are closed at 11:15 am!!! 11:25 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Dominicas parents will be here soon to take over so that I can get a bite to eat. 11:07 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Dominica is napping. She is completely exhausted. No sleep in days. 10:18 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

And the doppler system predicts…. High chance of baby today. (Doppler is used to listen to the baby.) 9:50 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Showering seems to help but all of the steam makes it way too warm. 9:40 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

6 cm now. Moving forward well. 8:54 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

5 cm dilated now. Progressing well. Dominica is really holding up. 6:49 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Happy anniversary to bennie and francesca   6:31 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Midwife predicts that the baby will arrive by noon – less that six more hours. Contractions have been going on for 14hrs already. 6:23 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Happy tofurkey day! 4:35 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Nurse says that we are staying this time. This is the real thing. Currently 3-4 cm. Doing well. Show time. 4:17 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Okay, found someone to let me in. We are in room 4. Same room that we had on Monday – we know this room well. Min is having tests now. 4:15 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

I am locked out of maternity…. Can’t get to dominica. 4:12 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Getting ready to head on out to the hospital to try this baby thing again. 3:03 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Heading to bed. No baby on the 26th. Will try to get some rest before the labor really starts. Dominica is very uncomfortable. 10:51 PM Nov 26th from web

@kweenkmatt At $1.57, I believe that once you adjust for inflation this is the cheapest gasoline in history – beating the 1999 prices! 10:17 PM Nov 26th from web in reply to kweenkmatt

Contractions are speeding up. Very likely going to the hospital in the next few hours. Thanksgiving looks to have been a good guess. 8:33 PM Nov 26th from TwitterBerry

Baby is progressing. Might be off to the hospital again in a few hours. 8:07 PM Nov 26th from TwitterBerry

@ClintonSkakun Yay, tofurkey day! 7:03 PM Nov 26th from web in reply to ClintonSkakun

Dominica’s contractions are pretty constant now. Every few minutes. 7:02 PM Nov 26th from web

@_calla_lily_ Have fun in Columbia. New baby by the time that you get back! Westchester Population + 1 7:02 PM Nov 26th from web in reply to _calla_lily_

Dad arrived home safely. No snow until Dansville. Toccos have now arrived in Peekskill. 6:01 PM Nov 26th from web

Check at the midwife’s went well. 2cm dilated and progressing appropriately. No schedule yet 😉 3:46 PM Nov 26th from web

Dominica’s appointment is done. No news. Going to pick her up now. 2:59 PM Nov 26th from web

Just did the dishes and finished off unpacking another box. Minor house progress. 2:55 PM Nov 26th from web

Dad is in Elmira. No baby news so he is continuing on towards home. 2:53 PM Nov 26th from web

Dominica’s dr appt got pushed back. She has to wait until 2 just to get in but is already sitting there just reading a book. 1:09 PM Nov 26th from web

Dad just left for his long drive back home. Dominica’s dr appt is in two hours.   11:10 AM Nov 26th from web

Simple Ruby Twitter Client – Tweet [Ruby]

This is my simple, Ruby based Twitter client using Curl designed for UNIX systems like Linux, Mac OSX, FreeBSD, Solaris, etc.  The only requirements are Curl and Ruby.

In order to use Tweet, simply copy all of the included code into your favourite text editor (I use vi) and save as ‘Tweet’.  Don’t forget to “chmod a+x tweet” so that it is executable.  I suggest moving Tweet into your path (perhaps you should consider /usr/local/bin as a recommended directory) to make it easier to use.  I have designed Tweet to be useful to users on a multi-user UNIX system.  It is a command-line utility that simply accepts text input and posts that text, maximum of 144 characters, to your Twitter account.  An existing Twitter account is necessary so sign up if you do not have one already.

There is very little to know in order to use Tweet [Ruby].  (Should I name this RTweet perhaps?)  The one thing that is needed is to set your username and password.  Tweet [Ruby] is designed to accept username and password data from the system environmental variables $tweetuser and $tweetpass.  This design decision was made because it makes it extremely simple to have multiple users on the same system be able to use Tweet [Ruby] transparently from one another.  If you desire, you can bypass this setting by changing the “unset” user and pass settings in the code to your username and password.  This hardcoding is not recommended but is available if needed.

Once you have your username and password set (you can see what your settings currently are by using the -t option) all you need to do is enter the text that you want to publish.  Here is an example:

tweet ‘This is my first post from Tweet [Ruby].  Thanks Scott, this is great.’

Here is the code, go crazy.

#!/usr/bin/ruby -w
#Scott Alan Miller's "Tweet" - Twitter Command Line Script

text = ARGV[0].chomp
user = "unset"         #Supplied Username
pass = "unset"         #Supplied Password
url  = ""
ver  = "1.0"

user = ENV['tweetuser'] if ENV['tweetuser']
pass = ENV['tweetpass'] if ENV['tweetpass']

if    text.length <= 0
  puts "Please enter text to post."
elsif text.length >= 144
  puts "Please limit post to 144 chars."
elsif text == "-v"  # Version Message
  puts "Current Version of Tweet [Ruby] is " + ver
elsif text == "-h"  # Help Message
  puts "Tweet [Ruby] Help: \n"
  puts "To set environmental username and password:"
  puts "  export tweetuser=yourusername"
  puts "  export tweetpass=yourpassword\n"
  puts "Usage:"
  puts "  tweet \'This is my message.\'"
elsif text == "-t"  # Variable Test
  puts "Username: " + user
  puts "Password: " + pass
  result = %x[curl -s -S -u #{user}:#{pass} -d status="#{text}" #{url}]
  puts "Update Failure" if result.grep(/text/) == nil

If you end up using my little Twitter client, please send me a Tweet to let me know!

tweet ‘@scottalanmiller Using Tweet, best Twitter client ever.  Ruby rulz.’

Twitter from the Linux Command Line

Okay, so you are a crazy BASH or Korn shell nut (DASH, ASH, TCSH, CSH, ZSH, etc., etc. yes, I mean all of you) and you totally want to be able to Tweet on your Twitter feed without going to one of those krufty GUI utilities.  Such overkill for such a simple task.  I feel your pain.  When I found this little nugget of command line coolness I just had to share it with all of you.  Special thanks to Marco Kotrotsos from Incredicorp who published this on IBM Developer Works.

If you have curl installed, all you need to do is:

curl -u username:pass -d status=”text”

So, to give you a real world example, if you are “bobtheuser” and your password is “pass1234” and you want to say “Hey, my first UNIX Shell Tweet.” then you just need to:

curl -u bobtheuser:pass1234 -d status="Hey, my first UNIX Shell Tweet." \

You will get some feedback in the form of a response XML file. Happy Tweeting!

Disclaimer: I realize that using “Linux” in the subject is misleading.  This is not a Linux specific post but will apply to FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Mac OSX, UNIX, Solaris, AIX, Windows with Cygwin or just about any system with a command line and the curl utility installed.

I use this as the basis for my Ruby based Twitter Client for the command line.

September 15, 2008: Wild Ride on Wall Street

67 Days to Baby Day! (30 Weeks and Three Days Pregnant)Water Street Looking North75 Wall StreetFulton MarketAnn Street

One month until we close on the new house! We are in the home stretch now. Just six more weeks of life in Newark.

I got pretty much no sleep last night.  Oreo needed me to walk him pretty late in the evening which, or course, got my heart rate up and I was not able to fall asleep until after midnight.  Then Oreo got me up a few times during the night and I was finally unable to fall asleep again after three in the morning.  So I got, at most, a total of two or two and a half hours of sleep, and that after having had a very long and trying weekend already.

I left the apartment around six to head into the office. I got outside and discovered that it was far warmer and more humid that I would have guessed.  It was quite uncomfortable on my walk to the office.  I was not expecting it to be hot after having had a nice week.

After having used Twitter now seriously for several weeks I have decided that I am really into the whole microblogging thing but am having reservations about continuing to use Twitter.  Twitter is a closed microblogging service which does not archive my posts indefinitely.  This is fine for day to day use.  My usage pattern is a bit different and with the new house and the baby coming so soon I would really like to be in a position where my posts are going to be archived along with the SGL blog.  I would also like to have my microblog accessible from my office which, like many social networking sites, Twitter is not.

Because of this need I am investigating the first major open-source microblogging platform: Laconica.  Laconica is the platform that powers the popular Twitter competitor  By using Laconica I will have my posts being stored in my own database, just as I do with SGL, so that they will always be available.  I think that having this legacy data will be a valuable addition to the information already being stored by SGL.  Just in the last several weeks I have had well over four hundred and fifty posts to Twitter.  That represents a lot of information to have lost someday.

Another advantage to Laconica is that my readers will have the option of using SGL as their microblogging platform instead of Twitter.  Sites using Laconica can federate together making a large microblogging community rather than a single, monolithic site like Twitter.  That means that users on, for example, can subscribe to feeds transparently from SGL should we get Laconica running and vice versa.  I am excited and very hopeful that this will work on our web server.

I really like how Friday’s “day of pictures” turned out.  I am going to make an attempt to do something similar today.  I have to go home to Newark during my lunch break so that I can be with Oreo.  Because I left early this morning he has been alone since Dominica went to work around seven.  If I did not go home early today he would be alone for a very, very long time and he would be quite upset.  This week is going to be hard enough on him as it is.

My morning was pretty busy.  Not horrible like you may have expected but definitely busy.  Fewer total tasks to do with but all of the market volatility there was a lot more communication demanded for every little thing.

At twelve thirty I had to take my lunch break as an opportunity to run back to Newark to check on Oreo.  Dominica walked him at seven just before she left and I got to the apartment around one thirty.  He was doing fine and perfectly happy.  Definitely not the same dog that we had two years ago.  He would never have been able to have handled having been left alone for so long.  This week is going to push him to his limit.  We will see how he holds up.

On my walk home I made a point of keeping my Kodak digicam in hand and snapping several pictures so that I could show you, my readers, what my walk is like from the office to home.  Most everyone who reads SGL has never been to the area around where I work or live and I think that people have a difficult time visualizing what much of my day is like.  In fact, Dominica has never been down to where I work and doesn’t even know quite where it is.

I got lunch from Airlie but was so busy that I had to take at least two calls while eating my salad plus answering emails.  They tried to set up by new BlackBerry Curve today as well but were unable to get it to work.  I am hopeful that we can do some troubleshooting tomorrow and get it working.  I have been without BlackBerry access to the office for weeks and it is really annoying.

People often complain about how people with BlackBerrys always work and how the BB is responsible for people never have free time anymore.  This is completely untrue.  It is the BlackBerry that allows me to ever me untethered from my computer.  Because my BlackBerry has been broken I have been forced to stay logged in to the office all hours and to physically go out to the living room office and sit down and go through my mail!  Previously I just checked my BlackBerry from time to time while spending time with Dominica.  This has tripled the workload necessary just to maintain basic communications and does not address issues like this Saturday when we were away from the apartment.

On her way home from work, Dominica stopped off at On the Border and grabbed me fish tacos for dinner.  It worked out well since I was already home with Oreo and she was in no hurry to get back to him like she will be the next few days.  I will not be going in to Warren this week because we will have no way to take care of Oreo during such a long day if I do that.

We put on Frasier and ate our dinners.  We watched several episodes with me taking intermittent breaks to come out and check my mail and to make sure that I was not needed.  This whole week is going to be very busy.

Today was a wild ride for the world financial markets.  Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection this morning and Merrill-Lynch was acquired by Bank of America and American International Group announced that it was having difficulties and would need assistance.  The scale of this disaster is so big that it really cannot be overstated.  The major banks worked all weekend and today we saw one of the biggest market declines in memory.  Really something to watch.  Over the next week or two we will get a fair idea of just what the long term impact of these events will be.  This is a very important day in financial history.

Today I got to install WordPress with Google Gear integration.  This is the hot, new feature of the latest WordPress platform version.  This should be very cool.  It means that I can keep editing SGL even when the site goes down and that the effort that I put in to editing the site has a smaller impact on site performance.  I am also very excited about WordPress’ built in Word Count functionality that tells me how much I have written right on the screen while I am writing.

Speaking of outages – SGL, along with my email, IM and everything else, was down for an hour or so today.  The outage was not caused by us but by router configuration problems at the datacenter.  I wonder if causing the outage myself wouldn’t make me feel better than having it caused by someone else who doesn’t take responsibility for it.  Hmmm….

I worked until around midnight before heading off to bed.  Tomorrow will be another long day.  I have a long laundry list of things that need to be done over the next few days.

Twitter Feed on SGL

Today we added my Twitter feed onto the main SGL page.  This should make the impact of my Twittering a lot more meaningful.  Now the last five Twitter updates appear automatically at the top of SGL.  So even when SGL has not been updated recently you can still check in here instead of going to Twitter to see the very latest news.

This also makes following my Twitter feed much easier for people who do not have their own Twitter accounts and therefore are unable to “follow” me on Twitter.